Pit Boss Pellet Grill Temperature Fluctuations (Find Out Why It’s Happening to You)

Pit Boss Grills make life easier, especially for those who love smoky flavors! But don’t want to spend the whole day tendering to the smoker.

Although pellet smokers tend to provide excellent temperature control, they’re bound to run into a temp swing here or there.

We’ll tell you why these temperature swings occur and how you can get them under control. 

Why Do Pit Boss Grills Experience Temperature Swings? 

Pit Boss grills tend to experience temperature fluctuations due to many reasons. This includes a dirty or broken temp probe, cold weather, poor air circulation, loose hanging foil, and frequent lid opening. 

The display panel on the front will usually give you an error code. This can be helpful when figuring out what is wrong, one of the most common ones is the ERH code.

Cold Weather 

Hot weather is the best time to pull out your grill for some delicious barbecue. However, it’s common to experience mild temperature swings during cold, rainy, or windy days.

Don’t be surprised to see the temperature reading aim to the colder side. On a particularly frosty day, you may see an extreme drop in the internal temperature.

The best solution to shield yourself from these fluctuations is to cover the grill with an insulated grill blanket. Using a blanket or grill cover is perfect for keeping consistent internal temp even during winter. 

Filthy Pellet Grill 

Even the perfect grill will experience fluctuations if it’s dirty. Dirty grills may cause a grease fire, auger jam, or even flame-out.

We recommend using the shop vac to suck up the ashes in the firepot and auger to prevent dust buildup. Furthermore, always perform the burn-out procedure to eliminate unwanted grease and residue.

A clean Pitt Boss Grill is more likely to provide good temperature control. 

Dirty Internal Temperature Probe 

Every Pit Boss Smoker has an RTD temp probe sensor that reads the internal temperature of the meat and sends it to the control board. Ensure to clean the temp probe and surrounding components like the control panel regularly. A dirty sensor won’t be able to provide accurate readings. 

Loose Hanging Foil 

Many cooks prefer to use foil on the flame broiler plate to safeguard against grime or grease. This saves you the trouble of cleaning your Pit Boss pellet grill on a regular basis. However, when doing so, you must use heavy-duty foil so that it won’t tear easily.

Furthermore, the foil must be wrapped tightly around the edges of the flame broiler plate. The loose hanging foil will prevent air circulation inside the grill, thus causing swings in temperature. 

Low-Quality Pellets 

Make sure always to use quality wood pellets or wood chips. All-natural wood pellets burn hotter and cleaner, which won’t cause a rise or drop in temperature.

Conversely, low-quality pellets will generate excessive ash that disrupts the temperature sensors. As a result, the temperature settings will be thrown off. 

Opening the Grill Lid Too Often 

Temperature levels spike any time you open the lid of your smoker. When you’re opening the lid, you’re adding cold air into the cooking chamber, thereby causing fluctuations.

Some experts claim that opening the lid adds about 15 minutes to cooking if you’re slow cooking. 

Not Using the Right-Sized Pans 

Lack of airflow is a consistent theme when it comes to temperature control. The grill must have sufficient ventilation in the grill to achieve consistent temperature.

Using an extra-large pan will block the airflow to the grill. The size of the pan should provide at least one inch of clearance between the pan’s edge and the grill. 

Running Out of Pellets 

If you experience a temperature drop, ensure that you don’t run out of pellet supply. This can cause the heat source to go cold, which causes the temperature to swing. Always have a good pellet flow when cooking. 

The Internal Temperature Probe Isn’t Working

When the internal probe isn’t working, the temp probe inadvertently reacts and triggers the auger. As a result, it may feed excessive pellets to the firebox.

Even as the temperature drops, the probe may trigger the auger to continue feeding pellets, leading to overheating.

How Long Should It Take for Your Pit Boss to Heat Up?

It takes 8 to 10 minutes for a Pit Boss to heat up. However also allows at least 20 minutes.

How to Maintain Temperature Control for Pit Boss Grills 

If you experience temperature swings, here are two ways to help manage the issue. 

Clean the Pellet Grill 

Cleaning can help fix temperature probe issues or dirty grills. Follow these steps to clean your Pit Boss Grill. 

  • Unplug the probes so they aren’t connected to any electrical components.
  • Wash the temp probe using warm soap and water. 
  • Look for any signs of visual damage. 
  • Rinse it with cold water.
  • Let it dry, away from the sun. 

Contact Pit Boss Customer Service 

The customer service team may replace the temp probe and control board. These components provide complete control of the cooking temperature.

Also, sometimes, the pellet grill may be too old, may need to be replaced. Luckily, the Pit Boss Smoker does come with a 5-year warranty. If the issue occurs within five years, the customer service team can fix it for free. 

Staying in the optimal cooking temperature range is key to ensuring your food tastes delicious and has the right amount of smoke flavor.

Now you know what to do to prevent and resolve temperature fluctuations! 

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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